How to draw a dog step by step – beginners’ guide with pictures

how to draw a dog step by step

Dog is domesticated animal, which is hugely adopted worldwide. If you are a dog lover and at the same time an art enthusiast, this step by step dog drawing guide is for you. For those who are beginners, this how to draw a dog step by step – a guide for beginners with pictures article will provide you the best guide to enhance your learning experience. Upon completing this tutorial, you will be able to draw not only dog, but also their ancestor, the wolf.

How To Draw A Dog Step By Step – A Guide For Beginners With Pictures

1. How To Draw The Dog’s Skeleton Structure

Step 1 how to draw the dog's skeleton structure Step 1

It is a must for you to picture the dog’s skeleton structure before you can start drawing the dog. It is because the skeleton structure decides whether your dog can have a good pose and it also prevents you from having your dog stayed out of the proportion. Even if you are an oil painting artist, this rule is unchanged and you still have to take into consideration the dog’s skeleton structure before starting to draw.  Even though, there are a lot of dog breeds out there and you may be confused on which pose to choose. My suggestion is we should standardize the dog pose by using its ancestor’s – the wolf. It is because the wolf structure can be modified into any dog breed easily.

Step 2 how to draw the dog's skeleton structure Step 2

If you want to learn how to draw a dog step by step in the best way, we suggest that you should break down the dog structure into something simpler. Even though, this simplified figure may look like an abstract painting, it does help you facilitate the drawing process.

Step 3 how to draw the dog's skeleton structure Step 3

Once your simplified dog structure has been created, it is all up to you to make a twist so that you can achieve the pose of the dog breed you want. Every dog breed possesses a unique feature that will result in different poses. Therefore, you must decide carefully on which dog breed you are going to draw. While some of you may not have a clear picture of how other dog breeds may look like, these following examples will help you settle down the problem.

As you can see, the dog structure is mainly made up of the head, body and legs, which are already simplified into small circles and traces. A little bit of change will result in a different dog breed. This method does not only apply to dog, but also to other animals.

Step 4 how to draw the dog's skeleton structure Step 4

If you want to draw a puppy, my suggestion is you have to enlarge the head a bit. For the paws of the puppy, they may be bigger than usual if they are of the big size breeds such as Alaskan, or Golden Retriever.

Step 5

The above steps are important but don’t forget to pay attention to the dog’s joints. Joints are often overlooked but they do contribute to the pose of your dog. Therefore, please make sure you study the dog structure well before starting to draw.

2. How To Draw The Dog’s Muscle Structure

Step 1 how to draw the dog's muscle structure Step 1

Since this is not a cartoon drawing tutorial, we want to prepare you to draw a realistic dog. Therefore, you first need to learn how to add muscle to your dog’s body. In this following picture, you can see the dog’s muscle has been converted to simplified muscle masses, which are mainly simple shapes. However, in case the dog you want to draw is the furry one, you may skip this step because nobody will see any muscle under that hair.

Step 2 how to draw the dog's muscle structure Step 2

In my example, I draw a mother dog and its puppy. You can see that I’m adding muscle to their bodies by using the above technique.

Step 3 how to draw the dog's muscle structure Step 3

In the case the dog is the short haired one, you may need to focus more on the muscle details because it will determine your dog pose as well as the quality of your drawing.

Step 4 how to draw the dog's muscle structure Step 4

By applying this technique into my example, now the mother dog and her puppy are getting more solid with the added mass muscle.

3. How To Draw Dog’s Paws

Step 1 how to draw dog's paws

Learning how to draw a dog step by step will be made easier if you study every part of the dog. Let’s look at the example of the dog’s paws. At the first sight, they may look similar, but in fact the fore and hind paws are totally different. Details such as dewclaw or the carpal ball of the dog’s paws should not be overlooked also. You can take a look at the picture below to study the structure of the dog’s paws.

Step 2

One thing that dogs and cats have in common is they both walk on the fingertips. To draw the paw as detail as possible, you also need to learn more about the paw pose. This will enhance the quality of the drawing and give it a realistic look.

Step 3

Here we come to the drawing phase. To draw the dog paw, we need to create 4 lines which are in purple in the picture below. It is to establish the shape for you to draw the dog paw easily.

Step 4

Now you can add the pads by drawing 4 curves like in the picture below

Step 5

You are almost finished with the dog paw. In this step, you need to add the contour to the paw to give it a 3D look. Now you can add the nails. My suggestion is you should not make the nails too sharp. It is because a real dog’s nails are not so sharp as its nails cannot contract and will always wears down.

Step 6

Cover the paw with fur while purposely exposing the dog’s pads.

Step 7

In case you may want to see the dog paws from the front view. This is how it will look.

Step 8

My dogs now have their paws. How about yours?

4. How To Draw A Dog’s Face

Step 1 How To Draw A Dog's Face

We first need to start the sketch with the wolf’s head. Thereafter, you may need some tweaks to turn it into your dog breed.

Step 2

Add a muzzle

Step 3

Complete the muzzle by drawing symbolic nose underneath the muzzle

Step 4

Sketch the skull contours

Step 5

Draw the ears on top of the head. Please do not sharpen the ear tip; a soft curve on the ear tip will get the job done

Step 6

Now you draw the forehead of the dog

Step 7 how to draw dog's paws

Now you can place the eye on the horizontal axis of the forehead

Step 8

In this step, you can determine whether you want to draw a puppy or a mature dog. If you are to draw a puppy, you may need to have some adjustment

– The puppy has rounded eyes, and the eye balls are place underneath the horizontal axis of the forehead.

– Similarly, the muzzle needs to be shorten and rounded

– The ears must look soft and folded

Step 9

If you want to draw the dog’s head from the side view, you have to start sketching circle followed by the muzzle.

Step 10

Add the nose on the muzzle’s tip.

Step 11

Add the ear.

Step 12

The position of the dog’s eyes may seem to be confusing from the side view. My suggestion is that you need refer to some additional guide lines to locate the dog’s eyes correctly.

Step 13 how to draw dog's paws Step 13

Since I recommend earlier on that, we use the wolf body structure as a standard when we start drawing. However, that is not a problem when it comes to drawing other dog breeds. What you have to do is to modify the size of different elements on the head as well as adjust the space between eyes and ears.

5. How To Draw Dog’s Eyes

Step 1

You start with an oval first.

Step 2

Thicken the lower eyelids.

Step 3

Shade and sharpen the corner of the eye.

Step 4

Draw the pupil. Depending on different amount of light, the size of the pupil will vary differently.

Step 5 how to draw dog's eyes

Create light areas above and below the eye. Upon doing that, you will see the formation of the eyelids and eyebrows.

Step 6

To make it have more realistic look, you can create the depth by adding a shadow beneath the upper eyelid as well as inside the eye.

Step 7

To draw the eye from the side view, we start with the tear drop shape. The rest of the details are slightly different and almost unchanged. By taking a look onto the below example, you will have an idea of how the wolf’s eye may look like. The dog’s eye is not much different, its eyelids’ rim is a bit lighter and the dog’s eye is not as round as the wolf’s. The common dog’s eye color is brown while the wolf’s is amber or yellow.

That is all about how to draw a dog step by step – a guide for beginners with picture article. Hopefully by now you know how to draw you’re a dog’s portrait. Remember that this tutorial does not apply to human portrait drawing.

Also, there are many useful drawing lessons from the site vkool.com that you may want to read during your free time. Last but not least, if you find this How To Draw A Dog Step By Step article helpful, please let us know what you think by making a comment below.

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